50 years ago this fall, I took some pictures of my Dad’s harvest. I was home for the Thanksgiving weekend and took a few pictures of the farm. I was living in a nursing residence in Winnipeg, and I was lonely for my family and the farm.
Little did I know this would be my Dad’s last harvest. My Dad died the following May resulting from a farming accident; catching his fingers in the Auger Hopper and only treated with antibiotics by the local doctor. My father as many at that time were not vaccinated for tetanus. Yes, every time, I hear the arguments for not vaccinating children, I shutter to think of the preventable violent death my Dad experienced because of not being vaccinated. Of note, when attending a lecture by an intern at the General Hospital in 1992, a staggering number of middle-age farmers at that time had not been vaccinated. A suggestion had been made that all patients should be asked on admission if they had been vaccinated.
Looking at the picture taken 50th years ago, many wonderful memories of farm life come to mind.
However, after the shocking accident in Alberta when three girls playing on a loaded truck of Canola, became buried and smothered by the seed in the truck, brings to mind the dangers of farming. From 1990 to 2008, in Canada, there has been close to two thousand deaths, with 248 being children.
For all the changes that have happened in the last 50 years in farming, farmers are still putting in very long hours, working from dawn to dusk, putting self into risk, yet accepting the risks as part of farming!
The question to be ask is what is being done to address the dangers in Farming.